If you need anything CMF specific use the portal_url tool. I do not see why a basic infrastructure method like absolute_url() should know anything about portals at all.
I have to admit I did not look deeply, but Stefan's notion that absolute_url is a basic infrastructure method that should not have to know about portals is correct. The portal_url tool was specifically created to provide you with paths and URLs that are relevant to the CMF site - if there are any problems the URLTool needs to be extended or fixed to address that.
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